Dog Fleas and Ticks
Fleas are one of the most common and more frustrating parasites affecting dogs. Did you know that 1 female flea can lay 100 eggs a day and that our Nova Scotia weather creates a perfect environment for fleas to be a year-round risk for your pet. Fleas can cause extreme itchiness for your pet and if left untreated can skin infections, anemia and many other health complications. Ticks in Atlantic Canada are becoming a growing concern to pet owners. Certain species of ticks are capable of transmitting Lyme disease to pets and people.
How can you tell if your dog has fleas & ticks?
Often by the time you see one flea on your pet, you probably already have an infestation. Fleas are small dark brown insects that move very quickly on your dog. It is often difficult to find the adult fleas themselves. However, with the help of a flea comb, it is easy to identify the ‘flea dirt’ or excrement of the flea. You would look for small black pepper-like specs. If there is flea dirt, there are fleas present.
Ticks are small black insects that can be found crawling on your dog or already attached. Ticks resemble the shape of an apple seed and are often found firmly attached with their heads buried in the skin.
How do you prevent fleas & ticks in dogs?
Fleas and ticks are more than mere nuisances. They cause distress in dogs and, more important, and they cause disease. Attempting to control fleas on our pets is a multi-step process, and prevention is key. You do not want to fall into the trap of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ because often by the time you start to see adult fleas, you most likely already have a problem. Our humid climate and long warm falls ensure that the flea and tick season typically occurs year round. Ticks in Atlantic Canada is becoming a growing concern to pet owners. Certain species of ticks are capable of transmitting Lyme disease to pets and people. Using a product such as Sentinel, Nexgard, Advantage, Advantix or Revolution every month will help to ensure that your pet is protected.
What are the treatment options for ticks in dogs?
Ticks, like fleas, are external parasites that feed on the blood of their hosts. If you look carefully, you can spot a tick feeding on your dog with the naked eye. Once you have identified an attached tick it is important that it is removed right away. To properly remove a tick, use a tick twister or grasp the tick with tweezers close to the dog’s skin, and gently pull it straight out. Over twisting or pulling too hard may cause the head to remain lodged in your dog’s skin. Ticks can transmit Lyme disease and other potentially serious bacterial infections. If you suspect that your pet is at risk or if you live in an area where ticks are common, it is important to talk to your veterinarian about protecting yourself and your pet.